Social Anxiety Disorder and How Virtual High Schools can Help

Posted on November 04 2012

Is your child extremely shy? Is she someone who cannot seem to deal with social events and would rather spend the day holed up in her room than go to a social gathering? Is he someone who exhibits a seemingly exaggerated fear and dread of having to speak before or even be with other people? It may not be a simple case of shyness. It may be more. With the help of a seasoned psychologist, you can have your child evaluated - perhaps he or she has social anxiety disorder.

SAD in High School

By nature, studying in a brick and mortar high school is largely a social exercise. You will have to interact with your classmates, teachers and other school faculty. This includes other occasions where one may need to stand in front of others – to give a report, to write the math answer on the board, to perform the latest exercise in gym class. It also includes special occasions such as the prom or graduation or even the simple, everyday events – dealing with classmates at lunch hour or attending the school game.

For some, all these are what make high school exciting and interesting. But there are some who face the prospect of social interaction with fear and dread. If your teen is the latter rather than the former, he may have social anxiety disorder, which is actually one of the most common anxiety disorders that afflict Americans today. According to statistics, close to 20 million suffer from this disorder.

Social anxiety disorder (also called social phobia) is, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, is “an intense, persistent, and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others and of doing things that will embarrass” the person. A normal social interaction can be a cause for worry and lack of sleep. And even as one realizes that the fears are unfounded and illogical, he can’t seem to get a handle on how he feels.

Social anxiety disorder can be marked by:

  • Excessive sweating and trembling
  • Stuttering an stammering
  • Blushing
  • Extreme self-consciousness

This irrational yet uncontrollable fear results in poor academic performance for a teen. And this is why it is estimated that about 50% with SAD drop out of high school. His academic performance may already be suffering because he cannot bring himself to raise his hand in class or give that report. Other people may view him as snobbish or aloof.

Online High School Program from Those with Social Anxiety Disorder

If you suspect that your child has SAD, it is highly recommended that your child get treatment or therapy. However, while he is receiving treatment, it may help if you consider enrolling him in an online high school rather than insisting that he stay in a traditional school.

The American Academy offers accredited high school courses that allow your child to earn his high school diploma without being too stressed out due to his social anxiety disorder. This can allow a child to truly perform according to his ability because the social element is not giving him too much pressure.

A virtual high school can be an excellent refuge even as you seek to help provide your child with the psychological support he needs so that he can eventually overcome this disorder. While he is getting help on how to deal with the problem, it may be a good idea to free him from the anxiety and stress he feels with his social phobia.

Avoid the temptation of pushing your child into social situations. He can take slow and gradual steps towards overcoming the disorder. While he is learning to do so, it will help that he will earn his high school diploma to make him more equipped for the future.